Christ­mas In Cal­i­for­nia

Jodie Fried and her Aus­tralian clan love their sim­ple, prac­ti­cal house near the beach in Los An­ge­les, where Christ­mas is a craft-filled, hand­made af­fair.

Australian House & Garden - - News - STORY John McDon­ald | STYLING Gena Si­gala | PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Tim Street-Porter

With a fine eye for vis­ual ef­fects, an ex­pat cou­ple set up a re­laxed LA nest.

Alife well trav­elled is a life well lived, as the say­ing goes, and this Aus­tralian fam­ily knows the feel­ing. Jodie Fried is co­founder and di­rec­tor of es­teemed Aus­tralian ar­ti­sanal rug com­pany Ar­madillo & Co; her hus­band, Greig Fraser, is the Os­car-nom­i­nated cin­e­matog­ra­pher who shot Lion.

Jodie grew up in Ade­laide, Greig in Melbourne. They met in Syd­ney and then, al­most 10 years ago, headed to Los An­ge­les, where they live when not hopping around the world on film shoots for Greig’s work; Jodie can helm Ar­madillo & Co from any­where as long as there’s a phone and in­ter­net. To­gether, they have three spir­ited chil­dren: Felix, who is six; Leo, four; and Polly, two.

Their cur­rent home is a con­tem­po­rary two-storey, fourbed­room rental in the beach­side neigh­bour­hood of Santa Mon­ica, a stone’s throw from LA surf icon Venice Beach. It’s also a ‘mean­time’ dwelling be­cause they are build­ing their dream home nearby. The rental is solid and com­fort­able, close to schools and kindy for the kids, and lends it­self to a prac­ti­cal and cre­ative fam­ily life.

The house was de­signed by lo­cal ar­chi­tects Whe­lan/O’Neill in 2005. Un­like most Aus­tralian homes, the out­door area is at the front. There’s a solid fence that’s high enough to block­out­thestree­tandthe­court­yardis­ad­di­tion­allyscreened with hop bush, a shrub na­tive to Aus­tralia. It’s a great house for en­ter­tain­ing as the open-plan liv­ing/din­ing/kitchen area opens onto the court­yard through large-for­mat slid­ing doors. “It’s clean, light, bright and airy,” says Jodie.

“As you change as a per­son and as a fam­ily, it’s im­por­tant to keep evolv­ing, and so should your en­vi­ron­ment,” she says. The fam­ily had shipped all their be­long­ings from Syd­ney to LA but ended up sell­ing or giv­ing most of it away – it just didn’t seem to fit their new life­style. While the kids are young, Jodie in­tends to keep the decor “sim­ple and eco­nom­i­cal”, a pared-back in­te­rior scheme ac­cented, nat­u­rally, with tonal and tex­tu­ral rugs.

The fam­ily’s dream home will be fin­ished at the end of next year, but in the mean­time, this cool, con­tem­po­rary rental is per­fect for prac­ti­cal fam­ily liv­ing – and a North­ern Hemi­sphere Christ­mas with all the trim­mings. Ar­madillo-co.com; In­sta­gram @jodiefried

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